I wanted it to work. I really did. It would’ve made for a great story, and who doesn’t love a great story, but it’s quite apparent after the Texans 13-6 loss to Jacksonville that Case Keenum is not an NFL starting quarterback.
The numbers over the last three weeks are ugly. He hasn’t completed more than 55% of his passes during this stretch. He has averaged fewer than five yards an attempt in two of the last three games. That isn’t getting it done.
With Keenum at quarterback the last two games, the Texans have had the ball 22 times. In those 22 drives, the they’ve have 16 first downs, one touchdown, and scored 16 points. That’s against the Raiders and Jaguars, which aren’t exactly considered, umm, good defenses.
With Keenum at quarterback, the Texans have scored one second half touchdown, and speaking of second half woes, Keenum has had a chance to drive the Texans down the field to tie or win all four games that he has finished. He hasn’t been successful once. You can blame this on the offensive line. You can blame this on the coaching, but at some point, you have to start looking at the quarterback.
Some of the numbers look pretty good: eight touchdowns against just two interceptions, and quarterback rating close to 90, but that covers up the warts, and the warts are big.
Entering the game, Keenum was completing 47.5 percent of his passes between 1-10 yards. Of the 34 quarterbacks with more passing yards than him this season, only 3 (Alex Smith, Geno Smith, Colin Kaepernick) were below 60 percent on the same throws, and they were at least in the high 50’s. Matt Schaub completes more than 70 percent of his throws between 1-10 yards. It isn’t like he’s making up for it in other areas either.
How many throws did he miss against the Jags? This a pass defense that gave up over 400 passing yards last week to Carson Palmer, and the pass rush recognition, oh the pass rush recognition, it’s a struggle.
It’s great that Keenum can move, it really is, but having the ability to scramble and then take an 18-yard sack is not helpful. He fails to figure out where the blitz is coming too many times, that is why Gary Kubiak had to lift from the game against Oakland. I know he’s young, but where is the progress? I’m just not seeing it.
Undrafted free agents rarely ever turn into competent NFL quarterbacks, but I really wanted to believe in Case Keenum, unfortunately I just can’t. Now it’s time to admit that Keenum doesn’t give the Texans their best chance of winning, Matt Schaub does.Follow @AdamSpolane
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